Tag Archives: toromoreno

art makes us human

I am an artist today (for what it’s worth) because of my uncle, Leonel. He is the person who introduced me to the world of art and took me to my first real museum trips. Today, we are both old men and teachers. I have used a few of his works as posts here in the past and now I have a digital work to share as well. (VIDEO HERE)

What do teachers make? Teachers make humans who experience their humanity.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2012. All rights reserved.

Young Leonel

Guest artist, Leonel Toromoreno. Oil on canvas.

Self portrait my uncle Leonel painted maybe 30 years ago, while under the influence of Picasso’s “blue period”. I’ve always liked this painting, and treasure it now even more, because it reminds me of my own son, Gabriel.


Black Moses held poses

in shadows through nights,

no matter the nightmares,

she dared to brave into

the labyrinth savanna,

unafraid of the darkess,

and knowing god’s hand had hung

the moon and the stars like scripture,

mapping directions to freedom

guiding the faithful and wise

from bonding deceivers —

she traced celestial secrets

worth more than

the 40 thousand dollar bounty

promised for the capture of an angel.

© 2008 henry toromoreno

Anne Frank

ate crumbs in the shadows.

longed for the cat when it realized it could leave.

kept a garden in her ear.

sat silent like a lion for eighteen and twenty hours a day.

hung pictures of American movie stars to light up her days.

dissolved the cruel walls of her cage, like a child, with her imagination.

filled pages like a monk searching for meaning.

meditated in the language of the half living.

let out a screamwhich still vibrates in the universe.

breathed heavy when the streets were full of people.

discovered the antidote to boredom.


It broke my heart to find her body,

at the end.

© 2008 henry toromoreno

Originally published in Downtown Brooklyn, Issue 5, 1996